Governance at SSQ Financial Group
SSQ Financial Group recognizes the importance of its economic and social role and is determined that its governance practices be exemplary and exceed industry standards. Thus, beyond its moral and legal obligation to adopt sound management practices, SSQ Financial Group has implemented guidelines, standards and policies that are in keeping with its commitment to sound corporate governance. In performing their duties, the members of the Board of Directors and Management have a duty to comply with these rules.
Integrity, expertise and discipline are an integral part of doing business at SSQ Financial Group in an ongoing effort to achieve company objectives to:
The Board of Directors: its members and role
- promote the diversification of its business
- obtain returns that ensure its solid financial position, while respecting its values and positioning
- remain competitive
- offer superior customer service
- create a stimulating work environment for company employees
The Board of Directors of SSQ Financial Group comprises of 19 directors, most of whom are elected by delegates at the Annual General Meeting of SSQ, Mutual Management Corporation. The Board’s main responsibilities are to:
An independent Board of Directors
- supervise the Company's business activities
- ensure the continuation of a mutualist culture that promotes the values SSQ holds dear such as democracy, equality, fairness and solidarity
- define the Company's mission and values
- establish the Company's guidelines to ensure a balance between performance, growth, vitality and longevity, while taking into account the interests of its members
- ensure that members of Management perform their duties with integrity and competence
The functions of the Chairman of the Board and the CEO have been separate right from the start, to ensure the Board’s independence from Management.
In addition, a large majority of the Board’s directors have no involvement with the Company with regard to their:
As such, the primary interest and focus of Board directors is SSQ Financial Group and its members.
- connection to current or previous employers
- family ties
- connection to any other Board of Directors they may sit on
- equity in the Company
- consulting mandates entrusted to them by SSQ
Committees of the Board: for efficient and competent management
SSQ Financial Group has four permanent committees that lend support to the Board of Directors on specific issues related to their area of expertise, ensuring efficient management of the Company's business.
Executive and Human Resources Committee
This committee is responsible for the smooth operation of the Company in accordance with the policies, programs and budgets established by the Board of Directors. In this regard, the committee must:
Audit and Risk Management Committee
- supervise the strategic planning process
- recommend the human resources management policy to the Board
- recommend the appointment, evaluation and compensation of directors
- participate in evaluating the performance of the Board of Directors
This committee supports the Board of Directors in its responsibilities related to the Company's financial position. Its role includes:
- examining the financial statements and recommending them to the Board
- evaluating and recommending an independent auditor
- evaluating the risks the Company is exposed to and supervising the risk management processes implemented
- ensuring that the Company's practices comply with industry regulations
This committee ensures that management of the Company's general funds is in compliance with the investment policy adopted by the Board of Directors.
The Ethics Committee must adopt the rules of business conduct and take the necessary steps to update and raise awareness about these rules. This committee must also ensure that the Company’s directors and senior officers comply with the Company’s ethics code.
In order to be transparent and encourage the efficient sharing of information, each committee submits a report of its activities at every Board meeting.